WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Open Friday / Weekend Forum

So what's on your mind this weekend?

Some 72 hours after the gunman unleashed unimaginable bloodshed, the New Castle County Courthouse re-opened Thursday. It was back to business as usual... or so it seemed.

But consider: Would-be jurors regularly get tossed because of personal exposure to violence. In a way, won't nearly everyone who works in that courthouse now have an intense, personal experience with bloodshed which subliminally colors their judgment? And, in our legal system, could that not possibly be grounds for an appeal from someone claiming prejudice? Just wondering.

That crippled cruise ship FINALLY docked at Mobile, Alabama. "Sweet Home Alabama!": One of the homemade signs passengers attached alongside the ship. From my understanding, this was a bargain-priced cruise. I've heard some say it should be no surprise that the company might have cut corners on maintenance and safety.

Personally, I have absolutely no desire to ever go on a cruise, and this episode merely cements my resolve.

This Friday was the day Asteroid 2012 DA14 swings closest to earth -- within the orbits of some telecommunications satellites -- but a terrifying meteor shower (apparently unrelated to the asteroid's approach) stole the headlines. Brightly burning rocks flashed over the heavens.

More than four hundred people suffered injuries, buildings were damaged, and the mobile network was wiped out as the meteor shower shower hit an isolated area of Asiatic Russia near the Kazakhstan frontier. The city of Chelyabinsk suffered the brunt of the impact. The biggest meteor is projected to have landed in a lake.

Senate Republicans have blocked the confirmation of former Senator Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary, leading to at least an 11-day postponement in filling the position. Hagel won 58 votes; he needed sixty to overcome the filibuster. It was the first-ever filibuster of a nominee for Defense Secretary. So much for Senate collegiality. This is the new Washington.

The Illinois Senate on Valentine's Day voted 34-21 in support of gay marriage. Supporters put together a voting bloc which prevailed over opposition from some downstate Democrats and a few within the Senate Black Caucus. Just one Senate Republican broke ranks to support gay marriage. The vote in the Illinois House is likely to be much closer.

From the UK newspaper, The INDEPENDENT:

"Pope Benedict used last night's Ash Wednesday mass to deliver a withering and extraordinary blast at the warring factions in the Vatican's upper-echelons, whose power struggles many believe influenced the Pontiff's historic decision to stand down.

Earlier on Wednesday, during the general audience, the Pontiff had alluded to the need for church figures to avoid the temptations of power and privilege.

But yesterday evening his warning was clearer. 'We must reflect on how the face of the Church is marred by sins against unity, and division of the ecclesiastical body. We must overcome individualism and rivalry', he told great and the good of the Curia assembled in St. Peter's Basilica. 'The true disciple does not serve himself or the public, but the Lord.

'Many are ready to get on their high horse over scandals and injustices - obviously committed by others - but few seem able to act according to the real wishes of their own hearts and consciences'..."

Not getting too much attention in the U.S. national media (although I just heard an audio clip for the first time on the hourly CBS radio newscast at 9 a.m. Friday): A lunchtime food fight at a Minneapolis high school degenerated into a colossal brawl involving hundreds of students and cops spraying canisters of Mace. This brawl had a racial/ethnic component: Muslims vs. African-American students, more specifically: The 8% of Muslim students of Somali descent and the 20% who are African-Americans.

The politically progressive/Left magazine MOTHER JONES first reported the influential Tea Party group FreedomWorks put together a video last year in which an intern dressed in a Panda costume simulates a sex act on a woman in a Hillary Clinton mask. The video clip was to have been screened at a July 2012 conference in Dallas called FreePac. Some staffers raised a ruckus, and the video was never shown. (Explanation of the symbolism: The panda suit symbolizes panderers = liberals.) Interestingly, onetime House Majority Leader Dick Army, former president of FreedomWorks, had a very public falling-out with the group.

Posted at 9:12am on February 15, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 9:50am
The defeat of former Senator Hagel for Defense Secretary had to happen. I watched a portion of the hearings. The fact that this person had been nominated for a cabinet post amazed me.

It is the second time in recent memory that G.O.P. senators have gone after one of their own. President George H. W. Bush had nominated former Texas Senator John Tower for the defense post. The Senate voted down the nomination. Seems that even by U.S. Senate standards he was too much of a drunk!

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Feb 15, 2013 10:34am
I'm right there with you Allan, I've got no desire to go on any cruise and that was before this last disaster.

Pope Benedict said, "The true disciple does not serve himself or the public, but the Lord."

I'm not a Catholic, but a fellow Christian who's a Protestant, to the Pontiff's statement I say, Well Said Sir. That's a message, not just for the Roman Church, but for all of us who call Christ, Our Lord and Savior.

So will Al Sharpton get involved in that school, where Muslims and Blacks had a food fight/riot? Probably not.

Why is that Mother Jones article from last June being brought up now? I hadn't heard about it back then, but it does show how low some folks will go in their demonizing of a political adversary. The producers of that video think they are operating from the moral high ground??? Scary.

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 10:39am
In 1965, I was on a 25-year-old liner which had in various lifetimes also been a cargo ship, an aircraft carrier, as well as a passenger liner. At the time, it was 500' long with a capacity of about 1000, although I doubt there were that many aboard. About 500 miles from any shore, an engine cought fire; we were evacuated to the lifeboats; and I believe we spent the rest of the trip on deck. We were not permitted to return to oue "staterooms." We were 2 days drifting without power before a tug arrived from the Azores to tow us to Newfoundland. Yes, the ship was MUCH smaller, and, yes, we were far fewer passengers. BUT, it was also nearly 50 years ago, yet we never had to relieve ourselves in bags or buckets; we never had to wait for food. I imagine we had some sort of auxilliary power for toilets and cooking. The point of all this is, if we can build these mega luxury ships with pools, and climbing walls, and nightclubs, etc., why can't we figure out how to cope with emergencies? And why did it take them so long to get to port? We were in the "MIDDLE" OF THE ATLANTIC, and waited just 2 days for the tug, and 3 days to be towed to port. I have always wanted to go somewhere on a cruise, but I'm beginning to think I'll take that item off my bucket list.

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 11:39am
The Republicans are demonstrating that their top priority is simply to be obstructionists to Obama.

Chuck Hagel is a decorated Vietnam War Veteran. He personally understands the sacrifices of those who have served in combat, and would become the first enlisted man to become defense secretary. As a U.S. senator, he's proven that he truly supports our troops and would not put any of them in danger unless there is a national security reason.

Meanwhile, the Republican senators haven't really given a specific reason for obstructing Hagel's nomination, but have just demonstrated they're willing to block anything from Obama.

By the way, the filibuster is being used by the Republicans on almost every issue. We need to abolish the filibuster so that Senate votes are decided on a simple majority.

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 12:01pm
Cruise ships are just eating, sleeping and s***g over and over again. Plus, the ships are often unsanitary and a gastrointestinal illness waiting to happen.

Agreed with Mr. Loudell that there's no reason to go cruising unless you want to get e coli bacterial infection.

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 2:51pm

Am watching asteroid live now. It passed midpoint and it appears we are safe.

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 3:34pm
Another take on Chuck Hagel can be appreciated by going back in time and analyzing the recent Republican Primaries. Without a doubt, financier Sheldon Adelson kept Gingrich in the race far longer then natural circumstances would allow.

He did it for one reason: Israel.

Anyone who wants to get some of that money in 4, 8, or 12 years hence, knows they have to beat up on anyone who isn't super pro-Israel. This single motivation gives sense to the otherwise incomprehensible act of not voting for the president's choice of Secretary of State. Both Lindsey Graham and John McCain's words suggest he will get in after break. Which makes the actions even more irrational. If you know you are going to vote him in in a week, why not just do it now so he can be present at the NATO meeting that decides the future of Afghanistan?

As I mentioned earlier, the Republicans - when questioning Hagel - brought up Afghanistan 4 times; drones were brought up zero times; China was brought up only once, and that was by Ted Cruz to question whether he went to China with someone known as not being super-pro-Israel.

Israel on the other hand received 179 mentions, and the alleged bomb in Iran received 171 mentions.

This makes no sense at all. One doesn't care about Afghanistan, drones, Europe, in their Secretary of Defense? Until you consider the money involved. Then it becomes as clear as a bell...

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 3:43pm
Dittos for kavips' comments.

Senator Hagel was also crucified for making true comments about the power of the Jewish lobby in the United States. He was speaking the truth, but got crucified for it.

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 8:42pm
We're coming up on the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq war.

This Monday at 9 p.m. EST, MSNBC airs "Hubris," a special about how Bush's lies cost 4,000 servicemen their lives.

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 9:04pm
Oh wow, you are right. 10 years. Wow that anniversary sneaked up on us, you are the first mention I've heard of it. That is rather strange when one thinks about how that war has changed America probably for good.

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 9:39pm
Just read two Wikipedia accounts of the war. I was surprised how much I'd forgotten (wow ten years, really)...



Sat, Feb 16, 2013 6:58am
Just curious as to whether this cruise ship fiasco has affected sales of the upcoming cruises to Ireland and Alaska hosted by Rick Jensen/Robin Bryson. Have there been cancellations? Are sign-ups coming in at a slower pace?

Sat, Feb 16, 2013 7:00am
I'm glad to see Senate Republicans taking a stand on Hagel, even though he too is a Republican. Nothing partisan about these guys!

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 1:59am
In regards to the courtroom shooting tainting those in the courtroom against murder, well all of us should be already tainted against murder. And if you start using real life to object to normal court proceedings you are making a mockery of the court; contempt of court is solely at the judges discretion and comes with hefty penalties. For in truth, don't TV dramas influence us? Don't movies influence us? Don't commercials influence us? All are part of our history, our being, our makeup. And if that is our background, then that is the atmosphere of that courtroom. There is a a reason trials are in the locality where the crime was committed, besides just being in that jurisdiction. A big part of justice is the community's ability to hear the trial, accept it was done fairly, and be able to accept its results as binding... Trying this murder in Sheriff's Arpaio's district over in Arizona would be a guaranteed acquittal... We don't allow that for obvious reason.

My point is that the shooting will not interfere in any way, with business as usual in the New Castle County Courthouse....

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 2:02pm
What the above says in essence is we all have life experiences that subliminally color our judgment. That is what judgment is: Comparing any incident to our life'e experience.

After this a good lawyer should always make the case for a change of venue for his client, and a good judge should always refuse it... .

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 2:13pm
Insult to injury. One of the buses taking the Triumph's passengers to New Orleans, broke down and passengers had to wait 45 minutes for Carnival to send a new bus and transfer their luggage over.

One of those riders' planes was 45 minutes late, due to an electric failure... We isolated the jinx.

So if you are looking over a flight manifest and ever see the name Combs.... don't get on.

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 2:32pm
Oh, and ironically Mike, since it seems like we were just discussing Anderson AFB, it appears to have scramble fighters to intercept two Russian Bears who flew over for surveillance.... or to see it light up...

Mike from Delaware
Sun, Feb 17, 2013 3:31pm
Kavips: interesting. Anderson AFB was a SAC base back then. Today they've consolidated the commands and I'm not familiar with the designations. But it doesn't surprise me that Anderson's mission is still in the old SAC mode.

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 10:03pm
Mike... It still is the command headquarters of dispensing nuclear material into Asia. Not sure if it is still called SAC but that is what it does.

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 10:50pm
Allan, and I would like everyone else's perspective on this too, if they could.......

My kids were listening to WDEL when Allan led off the hour with the criminal report on the news hour, and they said, "why is all of a sudden, there is so much crime and shootings right now....?"

My question. Is there a lot more shooting and crime going on now, more than ever, or has WDEL just shifted and now focusing on reporting more of it, or.... is it because after Newtown, as soon as we hear something involving guns, we go: Oh no, not again, and it burns itself into our memories?

Thing was, I was thinking exactly the same thing when they brought it up, so I am guessing it must be a pretty universal perception?

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 2:19am
Teatime: Thank God somebody is obstructing Obama. Perhaps they'll be able to minimize the damage to America until we can get a real president back in office.

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 6:45am
Mr. Pizza, I still don't understand why a guy delivering pizzas is pushing so hard for the multi-millionaires to get a tax-cut.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Feb 18, 2013 8:07am
Teatime: Maybe Mrpizza is a multimillionaire, and just works at the Post Office and pizza delivery just so he can be close to the people - heh heh.

OK, seriously, obviously I can't speak for Mrpizza, but my guess is it has more to do with the other parts of what the DEMS/Libs believe (homosexual marriages, 24/7 abortion even if it's a full-term baby, giving condoms to kids in school, kicking God out of the schools and the public square, the socialistic approach to solutions by DEMS that would include Obamacare, etc., etc.)

My guess is, Mrpizza might not have a problem with taxing the wealthy more IF that money was used solely to pay down the debt, and then after the debt was paid down, the wealthy's taxes went back to where they were with the Bush Tax Cuts.

It will be interesting to now hear if I was even close in my guess. I've based my guess on stuff he's previously posted, but I've been wrong before and just might be again.

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 9:06am
Teatime: I told you before that these multimillionaires are my employers. They take the financial risks that I don't wish to take in order that they can give me a job. I'm not advocating for them to get a tax-cut. So far, nobody's taxes have been cut, including yours and mine.

This is not a problem of anybody not paying enough regardless of income. The problem is that politicians have an insatiable appetite for spending. And yes, Mike from Delaware, you are right. I would have a lot less of a problem with the "tax the rich" scenario if I didn't see through the real agenda here, which is not to pay down the debt, but rather to take the additional revenues, borrow more money against that, and spend it on yet more waste and fraud.

So before we tax the rich, we gotta first stop the lies. Fat chance of that happening, right?

Why should politicians get one more penny of ANYBODY's money when so far they've shown that all they know to do with it is the equivalent of pouring gasoline on it and lighting a match?

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Feb 18, 2013 10:52am
Mrpizza: The problem becomes, where and what do you cut? Should those of us who have played by the rules paying our Social Security tax for the retirement insurance plan our entire lives now get hosed? When I reture in 4 years at age 66, I'll have paid fulltime into the system for 47 years. So I'm NOT a taker, but have been a payer, and resent being lumped into that 47% number of Romney's.

Obviously I'm biased, but I say no !!! If they want to change the Social Security system for the next generation - those under 40 - then I could agree as they'd have time to adjust what their doing so they'd be ready when they turn 66 and retire.

OK, so should we cut the school-lunch program? That program feeds millions of poor kids who'd not get breakfast or lunch. I totally agree that their parents should be providing that, but short of rounding up all these kids, most of whom are inner-city kids, and putting them into an orphanage (Gingrich once proposed this back while Speaker of the House) I don't see how to insure those kids are being fed. To allow those kids to go hungry in our nation of plenty, to me, would NOT be what Jesus would do.

Can we cut stuff? Sure, let's start with the military. I'm not saying decimate it, but cut it back and start keeping our noses out of other nations' business unless our security is directly affected. Let those nations pay for their own defense, etc.

Change Welfare so that the physically able, which most are, have to work for the state at least 3-4 days week sweeping streets, picking up litter, etc. I believe you'd find the Welfare roles drop dramatically as those folks would find real work, thus saving the nation tons of money paying dead beats to sit home.

Cut foreign aid, money to PBS/NPR, the National Endowment for the Arts, benefits and perks for Congress, etc., etc. All nice things, but we're in a real budget crisis, so these are luxuries we can no longer afford. Yes, these are small things, but add enough small things and you're making a real difference.

Its one of the things that angers me every time I hear this discussed, oh why cut those things, foreign aid is only 1 percent or some such number, but add enough of those and you've effectively cut 20% without hurting people who need those other social safety-net benefits.

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 12:58pm
Yep. And while we're at it, let's cut Congress too! They can travel in coach just like the rest of us, and in many cases, both Congress and the President could use Go To Meeting as opposed to spending millions of tax dollars per flight to send them all over the world.

Fat chance, right?

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Feb 18, 2013 3:10pm
Mrpizza: Yep.

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